Corrigan man found not guilty in sexual assault case

Corrigan man found not guilty in sexual assault case

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Corrigan man has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a child.

Benito Acevedo was accused of sexually assaulting a young girl on multiple occasions. According to a 2012 affidavit, the victim made an outcry to her grandmother that she had been sexually assaulted by the suspect.

The affidavit reported separate alleged incidents when she claimed Acevedo inappropriately touched her.

In an interview conducted by a counselor at the Children's Alliance Center, a child advocacy group, the victim stated that when she was about 10 when the suspect touched her. In the interview, the girl also stated that Acevedo forced her to perform sexual acts on him when she around the age of 5.

Day three of the trial began with prosecuting attorney Sandra Martin resting the prosecution's case. As soon as jurors were brought in to resume the trial at 8:30 AM, defense attorney Albert Charanza, Jr., wanted to make a motion outside of the jurors. The jurors where then excused so 217th Judicial District Judge Bob Inselmann, Jr. could entertain Charanza's motion.

Charanza motioned for a directed verdict. He said the prosecution failed to produce evidence or their evidence did not show intent of sexual desire or arousal. Charanza also said the state hadn't proved that Acevedo intentionally and knowingly committed the acts. Judge Insselmann denied the motion.

Once the jurors returned the defense called three witnesses. The first witness was Candy Hartman, a former investigator with Harold's House, who interviewed the victim about a different sexual assault allegation. Charanza also questioned Terra Acevedo, the new wife of Benito. The two were married in April 2014 The final witness that was called was Lori Mercado, Acevedo's sister, whom he lived with for one year in Corrigan, when he was 18.

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